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  #1  
Unread 03-24-2008, 10:23 PM
Usher's Avatar
Usher Usher is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lansing, MI
Project Westfield SEi build

As I've mentioned here a few times, I'm currently building a kit car in my spare time, and I figured it is about time to make a project thread about it. It's been going pretty slowly, since I've only had a few hours per week to work on it lately.

I started off by rust-proofing the frame with POR-15 and riveting on the aluminum panels that surround the passenger compartment.




Next up, I installed the pedal box, rear brake lines, and fuel lines. I'm waiting to do the front brake lines until after I figure out where to install the ABS actuator. It'll probably end up right next to the pedal box, where the battery is supposed to go, since I'm planning on moving the battery to the passenger side footwell, like the guys at Flyin' Miata did. The car is not designed for ABS, but since my Miata had I'm going to go ahead and install it anyway. The type of ABS used on the early Miatas should transfer over to the lighter car with no problems, but if I do have problems with it, I'll just build a new ABS controller using the same actuator.


I started installing the suspension today, and here is what it looks like so far:



I've also been spending a lot of time on the wiring harness lately. The kit is designed so that you use the Miata harness and cut out the circuits you don't need. My car will be a little more complicated. I'm installing seat heaters, since I'm planning to use it as my daily driver and the Miata-based kits don't have heaters. I'm also planning to make it keyless, probably using some RFid variant.
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  #2  
Unread 03-25-2008, 10:23 AM
GMMstrTech08 GMMstrTech08 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Lakeland, FL
work looks clean man, nice....keep us posted
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  #3  
Unread 03-25-2008, 07:19 PM
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burble burble is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: in a box
Quote:
I'm installing seat heaters, since I'm planning to use it as my daily driver and the Miata-based kits don't have heaters.
i don't quite grasp how a warm ass will compensate for freezing hands and no defroster.
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  #4  
Unread 03-25-2008, 08:15 PM
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Usher Usher is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lansing, MI
Defrosters aren't really necessary, because if you don't have a roof, there are very few situations where your windshield will fog up. The car has an electric heater in the windshield to deal with those situations.

In my experience driving the Miata top-down in the winter, a heater is pretty much useless, since it takes so long to heat up and doesn't have any effect at freeway speeds. At least with seat heaters, part of me will be warm.
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  #5  
Unread 03-25-2008, 08:17 PM
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burble burble is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: in a box
wait so it has no roof at all? when you said DD i figured they made a soft top for it or something.
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  #6  
Unread 03-25-2008, 08:18 PM
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General Geoff General Geoff is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Who needs a roof when they have... nothing, instead?
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  #7  
Unread 03-25-2008, 08:21 PM
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Usher Usher is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lansing, MI
They make a soft top for it, but I didn't want it. In the last year and a half I spent with the Miata as my only car, I probably drove with the soft top up about 5 times and put the hard top on about the same number of times. I also have a second car available to drive now, so if it's pouring down rain, I can drive that instead.
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  #8  
Unread 04-05-2008, 09:48 PM
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Usher Usher is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lansing, MI
I haven't made much visible progress in the last couple weeks, but I've almost finished my circuit schematics for the custom FPGA-based control board I am designing. It's main functions will be:

-Control the ignition and start circuits. I am not going to use a key to unlock and start the car. At first I will be using a passcode that will be entered on the keypad I am installing on the dashboard. Eventually, I will use some RFid variant for this. My current plan is to make it work with my work ID badge, but I don't feel like finding and reading through the specs on that protocol right now.

-Automatically turn the headlights on/off based on ambient light.

-Disable/Enable ABS. Initially, I will have a switch to that I can turn off the ABS if it doesn't work right on the Westfield (some ABS systems don't work right if you decrease vehicle weight too much, or if you have different tire diameters). If that is the case, I will implement new ABS logic on the FPGA and bypass the Miata ABS controller.

-Perform diagnostic stuff. I am running all the ECU diagnostic inputs and outputs my control board, so that I can read codes and control the ECU diagnostic modes from the driver's seat. Diagnostic information will be displayed on an LCD on the dashboard.

-Be expandable to accommodate other features I want to add in the future. I am going to use an FPGA instead of a microcontroller as the brains of the board, so that I can easily reconfigure it for other keypads or LCDs, or connect to just about anything I want to without having to add a lot of glue logic. The FPGA will be reconfigurable via a JTAG connector on the board, so I can hook up a laptop to the car to download new firmware.


Now that I have most of the circuits drawn out, I just need to transfer them over to my computer, make a PCB layout, and start writing some HDL code.
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  #9  
Unread 04-06-2008, 08:37 PM
angryrobots angryrobots is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: South Carolina
*googly eyes*
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  #10  
Unread 04-21-2008, 09:22 PM
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Usher Usher is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lansing, MI
I finally had some more time to work on the car this weekend.
I spent most of the time fighting with the donor, trying to remove rusted bolts, but I did make some more progress on the front suspension.

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